What type of remote worker are you?
Whether it’s a preference for brief online meetings, frequent check-ins or lengthy video conferencing, we all have our partialities when it comes to how we navigate remote work.
Much insight has already been offered about differing employee work styles. However, remote work has reduced the amount of face-to-face interaction and on-site hours shared between employers and their employees, making it much more important for business leaders to identify and re-adapt to employees’ remote work styles.
Managers are able to communicate their ideas and expectations effectively across digital mediums when they gain a deeper understanding of employees’ remote work styles. This positions managers to better integrate differing remote workstyles to build a cohesive remote team. Here are the four broad categories of remote workers based on the four Social Styles of interaction and decision-making.
The Driving Style
Workers with a Driving Style are described to be primarily action and goal oriented. They are ‘seen by others to be direct, active, forceful and determined’. Motivated by their need for results, Drivers need to feel that team objectives and tasks are progressed during meetings.
When translated to remote work, Drivers might like to keep meetings brief and to-the-point. Prolonged small talk and disorganised online meetings that go astray from planned agendas are completely contrary to their work style. While efficient, Drivers might need to learn how to better listen to others and be more attentive to the social needs of their coworkers.
The Expressive Style
Workers with an Expressive Style are much more vocal and open with their opinions and emotions. They are often perceived to be chatty, friendly and likeable, although they can sometimes make decisions that are a tad spontaneous.
Expressives aren’t just preoccupied with getting down to business. They are keen on building personal relationships too. They need to feel like they really know the people they’re working with. Enthusiastic about engaging others, they expect others to reciprocate their efforts to involve others.
This might mean a preference for more informal sharing and on-the-spot articulation of ideas. Webcams, phone calls and check-ins, for example, are the best way to engage Expressives when it comes to remote work.
The Amiable Style
Amiables, similar to Expressives, are open with their feelings. Other often view them as agreeable and easy-going. Primarily interested in ‘building rapport with others’, it’s easy for other coworkers to share and communicate with them. Greatly driven by personal relationships as well, Amiables try to see the person behind each decision at the workplace. This makes them good team players in most situations.
Since Amiables put their relationships with others first, they want time to consider how they put their points across to others during meetings. This means that while they too, enjoy video conferencing and building personal connections, managers can also try to provide Amiables with more airtime to think and carefully articulate their thoughts during online meetings.
The Analytical Style
Finally, we have workers that operate in an Analytical style. Analyticals want to be composed and well-prepared for meetings. Often, others might perceive them to be ‘quiet, logical and sometimes reserved or cautious’. While slower paced, they are organised and detailed planners important in any business.
Because they need more time to think and construct their opinions, Analyticals might prefer pre-meeting agendas and written (instead of video or verbal) communication. Managers need to create opportunities for Analyticals to vocalise their opinions during crowded, face-paced remote meetings which can be overwhelming at times.
Workplace diversity extends beyond the usual case studies of ethnicity or gender – it includes working styles too. Of course, if managed improperly, differing work styles can be a management nightmare.
However, if managers take the time to appreciate and better motivate employees based on the strengths of their workstyles, diversity creates more holistic teams and ultimately boosts employee performance. Most importantly, employees are more likely to feel encouraged to put their best foot forward when they feel understood.
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